The Need To Accept A Guru

By : Jayapataka Swami

“Just try to learn the trut by approaching a Spiritual Master. inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The selr- realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”

-Bhagavad- Gita 4.43

Shastras impart knowledge of the Absolute Truth

This statement in the Bhagavad- gita by Lord krishna was in reply to Arjunna’s question of what he should do, what was the way that he could actually proceed to achieve self- realization of the perfection of life. The Vedas are very broad. There are four principle Vedas, 108 Upanishads, 18 puranas and other histories like the Mahabharatha, Ramayana and the philosophical treatise, the Vedanta Sutra. All in all you are talking about millions and millions of verses. The Mahabharatha alone has 200,000 verses. So it’s very difficult for someone to know all of the Vedas. Veda means the knowledge which was revealed from God, from Bhagavan to enable the human being to know what is this world, how to live in this world, to achieve the objectives of life and ultimately to know what is the Absolute Truth which is the origin of everything, and how to realize our self and the Absolute truth. The four Vedas are known as the karma kanda of the part ofthe Vedas which deal withwith fruitive word. They concentrate on how to live in the material world and good karma for the actions that are performed and how to avoid bad karmas. By this, one can get better birth, better wealth, better facility in this life and in future lives, but still nonetheless, one is bound up within the truth is called jnana kanda. To realize what spirit is, what eternal life is, is dealt with in the section of the Vedas known as the Upanishads. Then there is the Upasana kanda, the process of worshipping the Truth. It is dealt with in the Puranas especially in the Srimad Bhagavatam Puranam as well as in the Bhagavad-gita, which give the science of how to worship the Ansolute Truth and realiz. So in order to engage in realization of the Absolute Truth, it is recommended that one should approach a spiritual master. In this world. people are looking for truth. Every newspaper, every magazine, quite a few of the films, are directed at least in part to truth by trying to disseminate information, and increase the knowledge of the people. Certainly the learning institutions. schools, colleges. Universities, institutes are theoretical) dedicated towards acquiring truth But in the there Vedas it is explained that there is a difference between relative truth and absolute truth. The relative truth would appear as something. Which is conditioned by time and space. somethings that is absolute is unchanging and which is beyond time and space. so things, to do with God or sprit. Are considered absolute truth changes. Just like, “Today this country is America”, is a relative truth because two hundred and some years ago this was part of England and before that it was part of the Cherokee nation or some other Indian nation. Relative truth does not mean that it’s false, it means for the time being, it’s since this body was born in America so it is an American citizen it’s considered an American body. But when the soul leaves the body at the time of death, and it takes birth again there is no guarantee it will take birth in America, it can take birth in Russia, it can taka birth in England or it can take birth in another planet because in the Vedas it is said that there are many planets which hare inhabited by intelligent beings. Some are more intelligent than human beings and some less spiritual than human beings. So the point is that in the Vedas, there are two things that we have to concern ourselves with: beings happy in this relative world in the absolute world in the life that we are living in now, and knowing what is our relation with the absolute world in the modern world, absolute truth is kind of swept under the rug probably because it’s something, which you can’t know by experimentation very easily; primarily because it is not accessible by normal empiric investigation. But in the Indian traditional, the vedic tradition, the great seers, the great Yogis would research Absolute Truth through various forms of Yoga. Yoga means to link with the Absolute Truth. The word Yoga means to link. So someone uses the mystic yoga process whereby through breathing exercises, through meditation, through introspection, they would be able to come in touch with the original source of all energy. They can realize their own spiritual, dynamic force. The Bhagavad-gita earlier explains that the body dies and the body goes through changes. It is like a little child is there, but in ten years from now it will become a young person. Then when it is 25 years, it will become an adult. So the body, from a baby to a child, then to youth, middle age and old age goes through so many changes, but the person remains the same.

Krishna explained in the Bhagavad-gita that we go through many changes of the body, but the soul, the self is not different. When the body perishes and becomes uninhabitable, the living force simply transfers to a new birth. At the time of conception it enters into the womb of the mother through the sperm of the male and then conception begins when the two eggs combine. Science has been able to observe this. But there is a living soul. If the living soul is not there, the life does not come. The soul is present and the soul is know as atma in the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas and it is considered as cit shakti or a living energy. This material world is considered to be acit or unconscious. It’s like this table does not have any consciousness. But if you hit a person, he will say, “What are you doing?” We have consciousness. We can feel, we will, we desire, we think. So there is a difference between dead matter and living being. Actually the body is not alive but there is a living force in the body that makes the body alive.

The Bhagavad-gita later on explains that the living force is situated in the region of the heart and through some divine arrangement hereis a connection between the gross body and this living force so that the living force expands its consciousness throughout the body through the blood stream and through the blood stream one is able to feel, to be conscious. We know that if we take a tourniquet and if we cut off the circulation to our hand, after a while the hand becomes senseless. The body in itself does not have any senses; the sense are in the soul, which is the witness, which is experiencing everything. This body is like a machine, an instrument that is gathering all the information. So the Bhagavad gita explains that we have action senses, we have knowledge gathering senses and together, along with the mind, these different senses are the instruments, which allow the soul to experience this physical body. When the soul leaves the body body is dead. There is a big difference between a dead body and living body.

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